Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What's in a Name? (The I Have a Name Project)

Names are meaningful. They identify. They humanize. They connect. They conjure emotion and association. When we are nameless, we become less than significant; a number in a demographic. But all demographics are comprised of real people, with real histories, real feelings, and real experiences. Demographics are comprised of people, and those people have names.

All too often, the people who comprise the homeless demographic remain nameless to the general population. They are seen as a nuisance, or a problem to be solved, or an object of pity. When I met Jon Linton, I knew it was not a chance encounter. It was more like divine serendipity. The mutual friend who introduced us had brought us together in a spur of the moment coffee date for entirely different reasons, but when the conversation turned to Jon's ideas for The I Have a Name Project, I knew why we had really been brought together. It's a subject close to my heart.

My mother was homeless for a time. She was not lazy. She was not stupid. She was not just a problem to be solved. Her name was Julie; and she was a human being who was loved. She had schizophrenia, and was part of the most at-risk homeless population of those individuals who suffer from a mental illness.

I am deeply honored to be playing a very small role in this incredibly important project. None of us ever does anything entirely alone, and although Jon is working his ass off, it's going to take a village. If you are moved to do so, please donate. The money will be put to good use. It will serve as love in action, which is the only sort of love that is real. Every penny helps. Give some love to those who rarely hear their names called out with kindness.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Time Traveling

Guardians and gatekeepers
watchmen and bell towers
travelers and talismans
town squares and lattes
bartering for forebearance
morning light and falling stars
trepidation and continuance
mysticism and myopia
deliverance and domination
the vessel and the open road
abstinence and absolution
rising tide and receding shore
the truth and the telling
the soul and the deathbed
birthing the hours slowly
in the blinking dawn
of something else entirely

Monday, October 14, 2013

Shadow Boxing

It really doesn't matter
how strong and swift
the blows you throw
the stealth and strategy
you bring to the fight
when your opponent
has already left the ring

Saturday, October 12, 2013

When Everything Changes

When the seasons are changing
and the morning chill shrugs off
a few hours after dressing in layers
and the layers of residual lives
reveal themselves in dream or prayer
cobblestone and concrete vows
and all of the grandfathers gather
for the good of the generations
while the generations unaware
wake up and brush their teeth
rub the sleep from their groggy eyes
forgetful as they should be
in order to keep going to work
in order to keep making dinner
in order to keep living in the present
and everything changes

When there is nothing left to denounce
no protest or fanfare surrounding legacy
just the soft blanket of light that rests
warm and heavy on your shoulders
like a prayer shawl, not a death shroud
and you are reborn into the comfort
of knowing who you are and where
you belong, it no longer matters
so much where you came from
or the path where your footfall marred
the ground that was both solid and yielding
 it all changes, no matter which way you go

When it feels like there is nothing left
you begin to see the things that matter
and maya loosens her grip, shakes you
awake and out the door, towards the light
towards the prayers of the grandfathers
towards the becoming that has been waiting
your entire life for you to take notice
and your own prayers come more frequently
and with an ease that defies your own belief
or lack thereof, and you know that you
don't know what you don't know
and it is best to stop trying to figure it out
because it doesn't need your understanding
in order for you to understand it to be true
it isn't changeable and it isn't changing
when everything changes, the conversion
and currency is nothing more than you